FAQ Answer

FAQ Answer

Respiratory Disease - I have a lung condition which makes me breathless sometimes. Am I liable to have problems on an airplane?

Respiratory DiseaseThe majority of individuals with conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sometimes called COPD, can travel perfectly safely on board an aircraft. It is essential however to carry all relevant medications, such as an inhaler, in cabin baggage. Contrary to popular belief, modern aircraft are not pressurised to sea level equivalent and fly with a cabin altitude of between 5,000 and 8,000 feet, causing a slight reduction in oxygen. This should not cause symptoms in the majority of individuals with mild / moderate disease. It is important that you discuss your intention to travel with your treating physician who knows all your medical details, in order that an accurate assessment can be made. In general terms, if a passenger can walk 50 yards/metres at normal pace, or climb one flight of stairs without significant breathlessness, oxygen should not be required.

If it is felt that supplementary oxygen is required, it is important that the airline is notified well in advance MEDIF Form in order that this service can be provided. Some carriers do make a charge for this. Recent work has shown that the majority of those with lung conditions respond well to supplementary oxygen in flight and should be able to travel worldwide.



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Before you Fly

  1. Anaemia - I suffer from anaemia and wonder if this would be a problem when flying.
  2. Heart Conditions - I have a heart condition; will I be able to travel by air?
  3. Carriage of Medication - Can I take my medication on board the aircraft?
  4. Contact Lenses - I wear contact lenses. What is the advice about wearing lenses during my flight and is there any guidance for taking lens solution on board the aircraft?
  5. Diabetes - I have diabetes, is there any special advice for diabetic people who wish to travel by air?
  6. DVT - Am I at risk of a blood clot when flying?
  7. Ear Pain - I notice that I frequently get ear pain when travelling by air, what causes this and what can I do about it?
  8. Electrically powered medical equipment - Can I take my electrically powered medical equipment in my hand baggage?
  9. Fear of Flying - I am very nervous at the thought of using air travel as a form of transport. Is there any treatment for my fear of flying and what causes it?
  10. Jet Lag - What is Jet Lag and how can it be treated?
  11. Malaria - Is it still a problem these days?
  12. Nut Allergy - I have a nut allergy, am I at risk while travelling by air?
  13. Oxygen - I have been told that I require oxygen for my flight. Can I take my own supply?
  14. Plaster Cast - If I have a broken limb with a plaster cast on, can I still fly?
  15. Pregnancy - I am pregnant, is it safe for me to travel by air?
  16. Psychiatric Condition - I have a psychiatric condition, which requires me to take medication and I worry that air travel may worsen my condition or that I may not be able to travel.
  17. Recent Surgery - I have recently had surgery. Are there any restrictions when travelling by air?
  18. Reduced Mobility - I have reduced mobility and wish to travel by air. Where can I find more information about my rights to assistance during my journey and will I need a medical certificate?
  19. Respiratory Disease - I have a lung condition which makes me breathless sometimes. Am I liable to have problems on an airplane?
  20. Sleep Apnoea - I suffer from sleep apnoea; can I take my Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine on board the aircraft as hand luggage for use in the aircraft cabin?
  21. Travel Insurance - Do I need to obtain travel insurance for my trip?
  22. Vaccinations - I am travelling abroad, will I need vaccinations prior to travel?
  23. What is the risk of contagious disease (an infection that may be passed from one person to another) when flying?